Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Swindon Open Studios Promotional Video by Nicky-Ann Walker

When Nicky suggested we might like a promotional video for Open Studios, I was a bit unsure about it, and even more dubious when asked to be interviewed. However today having seen the video, I can confirm it was very worthwhile. It will go live soon and I'll add a link, in the meantime, here are a few stills to give you an idea of what it's like:
 Jane was stopping the film at what might be considered suitable places, so she was in front of the computer screen, and so the photos are at odd angles:
 Above Vanetta Joffe explaining the benefits of open studios, and below I think a piece of her work, although I'm not sure about that.

 Above me in the town gardens with the bandstand behind
And below a corner of the Beehive

 Above one of Rachel Pryor's paintings
And below part of Tim Carroll's studio

Tim painting in his studio
and in the Town Gardens with Bee Operanto and Eddie
And Jane Milner-Barry painting in the town gardens; I was shaking by this time with laughter and it was hard to get a decent photo.
The link to the video will be added soon

Delivering the Swindon Open Studios 2014 Brochures

The brochures look better than ever this year, with a cover photo of a painting by Susan Carr of a family having a picnic in the Old Town Gardens with the purpley colour in the painting picked out by the cover colour.
The reaction has been very positive from everyone who has been handed a copy, and today that included businesses in Old Town who are having a piece of art in their windows to advertise the fact it's taking place on the 6th and 7th and 13th and 14th of September. Photos of art placed in windows will appear soon, with the first tomorrow since one of Tim Carroll's 100 views of Swindon series ahs been 'placed' with Francis George solicitors.
Here's the cover:
And the piles of boxes in the hall:

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Exhibition of Recent Work by Susan Carr and Terry Humphries at the Prospect Hospice

Susan Carr and Terry Humphries recently held an exhibition in the studio space at the Prospect Hospice and having missed the opening of the exhibition, I was keen to visit it when I had a second chance last Saturday, the 19th of July. I was really impressed with their work, much of it done outside, with a series of stills on a computer screen showing the view and their paintings produced from the view, cleverly put together to give the appearance of a video. As I looked at the paintings, the greatest difficulty was in deciding which one to buy, they are so delightful, it was a hard decision,a nd as I look at the ones I photographed, I'm sure I'll buy another one before long.
Here are some of the smaller paintings beside the entrance to the studio:

 Above is 'The Picnic in Old Town Gardens' by Susan, we have used this image for the brochure cover this year. It was bought by Caroline Day
 Above 'Poole Harbour' by Susan Carr

 Above one I liked a lot, 'Cows near Cricklade'
 And this one is lovely, 'Lydiard Park' By Terry

 These mini books for £5 were also a brilliant idea
 Above a painting of the Bandsatnd in the old Town Gardens
 And below 'Coleshill'
 Below a canal bridge
 And more cows in Cricklade
To have a better look at the paintings, please consult Susan and Terry's websites by clicking on these links:
Susan Carr and Terry Humphries will be taking part in Swindon Open Studios, along with Caroline Day in the Old Town Gardens.
One final photograph of the beautiful gardens just outside the studio. You can also visit the Prospect during Swindon Open Studios where you can see work produced by clients.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Leach Pottery St.Ives

On the third day in St.Ives, we decided to visit the Leach Pottery founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji, now thought to be one of the most influential and respected potteries in the world.
 There's a museum where the original pottery can be seen:
 The old fireplace soon to be restored to its former glory. Bernard Leach used to sit on the left hand side of the fireplace and instruct students.
 Pots around the museum
 Inside one of the three kilns
 Showing all three kilns from the outside, they used to be wood fired, difficult in Cornwall where there aren't many trees.
There's a permanent exhibition, I think this might be a small part of it, photographed near the entrance:
There are studios, and they run courses, and there's a room where a film from Bernard Leach's heyday is shown. There are some lovely shots there, and some of his paintings, including this self portrait:
 Below is a rather nice cupboard with his initials inlaid into it.
 And on the way out there's a shop run by the person who was also on reception during our guided tour, and then adding to the chaos, someone was buying a set a pottery for a leaving present, some 30 pieces all of which had to be bubble wrapped

 This is what I bought, a vase made by Jeremy Leach to hold sweet peas.
We stayed in LordRyans which was an excellent B&B and would go there again

The Penwith Gallery

The Penwith Gallery is home to the Penwith Society of Artists in St.Ives. It's set in a former pilchard packing factory giving it an interesting atmosphere, you can't smell the fish, but there's a lovely feel about it, and we were warmly greeted and chatted to once we arrived which makes such a difference.
It made me think about Swindon Open Studios days, and how important it is for me to remain welcoming and interested in visitors.
Here's the understated entrance:
 And once inside the main gallery housed a great member's exhibition:

 This piece was really attractive, it's By Chris Buck, 'For Hours on End' and it's bronze on slate
And on the way out, I noticed the courtyard:
There were two others areas, a small one, and a very large, former underground car park where a new exhibition was being set up.
Definitely a good gallery to include on any St.Ives trip.

Visit to Tate St.Ives and other delights

No visit to St.Ives would be complete without a visit to the Tate, photographs are not allowed once inside, so I photographed the poster at the entrance:
Then wandered round the gallery, particularly enjoying the Winifred Nicholson 'Window-Sill, Lugano', a spherical Bernard Leach pot and a stone carved Modigliani head. I also suddenly 'got' Alfred Wallis, maybe it was something to do with looking at boats in the bay.
Lunch in the upstairs cafe overlooking the beach was great, I should have taken a photo, instead took one of the view I drew of the island after the Tate visit, just outside the gallery.
There are some lovely flower displays around St.Ives:

And the sea in some places seems strangely turquoise, doesn't that make it seem even more lovely?
 I think these two photos are great.
Another thing about St.Ives is the emphasis on home grown veg and wholefoods, here's someone writing on The Allotment Deli's window after closing time:
The next day, the window was packed with all sorts of home made bread and there was lots of frswh veg around outside.

Bath Society of Artists Members' Exhibition in the Mariners Gallery, St.Ives 14th July-1st August

Peter Davies kindly arranged a summer exhibition in the Mariners Gallery, in St.Ives for anyone in the Bath Society of Artists who wanted to take part. The St.Ives Society of Artists which was founded in 1927, moved to the former Mariners Church in 1945, and purchased the building in 1956. The Society has played a significant role in the cultural heritage of the town, so we were very pleased to be able to take part in an exhibition there.
The Private View of the exhibition was on the 16th of July with a talk by Peter Davies, so what better reason to visit St.Ives again, superb last week, alternately drenched in sunshine and rain from a particularly vigorous thunderstorm on Thursday night viewed from the safety of the Harbour Hotel's dining room.
Here's the approach to the gallery:

 With the Bath Society of Artists exhibition advertised outside:
 The building once inside is very dramatic with high ceilings, a perfect place to exhibit
 Above Peter Davies can just be seen giving his talk  about his book on the history of Bath Society of Artists and was applauded loudly. Quite a few of the BSA members had come along which was great.
 And looking the other way towards the entrance:
 The first thing we looked for was Tim's painting, and here it is looking very distinctive
 and wonderful:
There are a few more shots of the exhibition
 I particularly liked this painting by Fiona McIntyre entitled 'Crams, St.Agnes'
 Below is 'Hallway Scene No 3' by Richard Twose
 There is also a large gallery space in the crypt where there was an exhibition by Jenny Beavan and Stuart Thorn
 This piece below caught my eye, it's by Jenny Beavan and called 'Energised Water'
There was a piece on them in a local paper, hard to read, better to click on the webpage links.